Health and wellness *sound* like they should be synonyms, but that actually couldn’t be further from the truth. Health and wellness might be sisters, but they’re not twins (yes, just like your eyebrows). While they do share some similarities, there are also some disparities between the two words -- and their implications.
In order to better understand if you’re targeting an enhanced state of wellness or health, it’s important to be able to differentiate the two. We’ve created this comprehensive guide designed to answer any and all of your questions about health and wellness.
What is Health?
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as, “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” The definition of this term as created by the WHO demonstrates that health is a condition -- the state of well-being.
It’s also multi-faceted, and can’t only be achieved through exercise or taking supplements - though both of those are important to achieve health. Health is only truly obtained when you’ve been able to reach all three dimensions of it.
What is Wellness?
Wellness is slightly different from health. The WHO defines wellness, by contrast, as “the optimal state of health of individuals and groups.” It’s also expressed as simply “a positive approach to living.”
One of the most important distinguishing factors is that wellness is holistic and has multiple (six) dimensions that you have to achieve in order to fully reach it. These dimensions each target a different facet of well-being.
In addition to this, we should note that wellness is not something you stumble upon; it’s something you have to commit to actively pursuing. For this reason, when you feel that you have truly succeeded and achieved wellness, you should be extremely proud of yourself! (We’ll be proud of you, too!) You have to recommit yourself to choosing wellness every single day, which is a lot of work. The result? Worth it!
What Are the Six Facets, or Dimensions, of Wellness?
As we mentioned earlier, there are actually six facets, or dimensions, to wellness. Only once you’ve reached all of these is it possible to actually reach wellness. These six dimensions include:
When you’re physically well, that means that you are taking care of the body that works so hard to provide for you. One way to do this is by getting a regular amount of exercise daily. Getting your body moving is an effective way to help check physical wellness off of your to-do list. In addition to this, you should also make sure that you’re not missing important vitamins and minerals. Vitamins are organic compounds that your body needs to properly function, but it usually doesn’t make enough on its own.
For that reason, the body needs a little help. You can help bolster your body’s nutrient intake with either food or even dietary supplements.
Here at Cosmos Vita, we’re committed to providing you with the highest quality gummy vitamins. Not only are our products GMO-free, they’re also created without dyes and are vegan safe. Just call it a win-win-win!
When you think of wellness, spiritual wellness might not be the first thing pop into your head. That being said, wellness is holistic, and it’s important to nourish this facet, too.
To do so, you can find a quiet space that you spend time in every day. Consider this your safe-haven away from the world. There, you can contemplate your past, present, and future. We also highly recommend journaling, because when it comes to getting in tune with your inner self, there are few things more productive.
It’s hard to decide which is the “most” important dimension of wellness because, well, they’re all so essential. That being said, emotional wellness is really, REALLY important. Taking care of your emotional wellness means that you’re dedicated to keeping a positive attitude, but also don’t ignore your feelings. That means that if you’re going through something, you work through it. This can include working with a therapist to sort through your feelings - including the ones that can be difficult or messy.
If you find that you’re curious about learning more about other cultures and ways of life, you’re already used to nurturing your intellectual wellness. Intellectual wellness is a sense of curiosity and desire to learn more about other people, opinions, and beyond.
Do you feel that the environment you spend time in has the ability to impact your mood? If so, environmental wellness will definitely make sense to you! Environmental wellness refers to our ability to feel comfortable or safe in our surroundings. On a practical scale, it also means taking steps to ensure that your environment is safe and clean.
In order to be socially well, you allocate enough time each day or week to spend time with loved ones and friends. In addition to these, you’re able to recognize a healthy (or unhealthy) relationship, and if it’s an unproductive one, you’re able to leave it.
Social wellness is essential because human beings are made for interaction with others. We’re social creatures, so it only makes sense that social wellness is an important part of the self-care equation.
What Are the Differences Between Health and Wellness?
Now that we’ve discussed the individual terms health and wellness, let’s do a little compare-and-contrast, shall we? There is one sizable, primary difference between these two.
Wellness refers to a process; health refers to a goal that you can achieve. When you’re working towards health, you’re also achieving an enhanced state of wellness. Think of wellness as the highway that gets you to the destination, which is health.
In addition to this, you’re unable to select the state of your health, but you can make a conscious effort to pursue wellness. This is by proactively taking steps that can enhance your well-being, and by making responsible, healthful decisions.
This is also another highlight of wellness -- it’s an extremely active process, and it’s choosing growth to reach your best health and state of well-being. In addition to this, wellness includes controlling risk-factors that could potentially harm you, honing in on nutrition, consuming a balanced diet, and finding ways to nourish your brain and mind while supporting the rest of your body too.
How Can You Support Your Body?
Obviously, physical wellness is the facet that requires the most exertion on the body, but all of these dimensions require the body’s support in one way or another. That being said, you can support your body and its well being in a variety of ways. One of these includes incorporating vitamins into your daily wellness routine.
Vitamins are important because they’re essential for proper bodily function, but usually your body doesn’t make enough or any of them.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), one third of Americans have low levels of vitamin D. That’s why Cosmos Vita created our best-selling Beaming gummies, a vitamin D3 supplement that aids calcium absorption to support your immune health, healthy bones, and teeth! Our Supportive elderberry, zinc, and vitamin C gummies provide 100 percent of your daily recommended vitamin C alongside immune-boosting antioxidants that naturally relieve stress and reduce inflammation, while our Gutsy apple cider vinegar gummies support your metabolism, digestion, energy and immunity. All of our supplements are vegan, gluten-free, and made without artificial flavors, dyes, colors, or preservatives to ensure you’re taking care of your body's needs using a supplement that cares about you.
Vitamins play a variety of roles in the body, and because every single body is different, you will need a different amount of each than a friend or family member does, for example. A huge part of wellness is being sure to advocate for your body - and listening to what it’s saying. Therefore, trusting your body is most important.
That being said, if you have questions regarding how much you need a vitamin, you should consult your physician, as they are familiar with your medical history and can help advise.
There are currently 13 different types of recognized vitamins, and they can either be fat or water soluble. Water-soluble vitamins are in and out of the body quicker than fat soluble vitamins are, so you need a more steady stream of these, as you urinate them out. This includes vitamins C and B. In contrast, fat soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D, E, and K are stored in the body’s reserves and can stay put for days or even sometimes months.
While health and wellness probably seem like they’re synonyms for each other, they’re actually not! Health and wellness are sisters, but they’re certainly not twins. Health is the result of pursuing wellness, and wellness requires an extremely holistic approach.
This holistic approach is what makes wellness so special to pursue. It nourishes not just your physical body but also your soul and ultimately, transforms you from the inside out. Once you get started, you’ll see for yourself!